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Bozeman plays host to ‘Meru’ film

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BOZEMAN – The Alex Lowe Foundation and Bozeman Film Society on Saturday, Aug. 29 will present the Montana premiere of “Meru” in Bozeman. Winner of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Documentary, “Meru” will be shown at the Ellen Theatre during two screenings at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Co-directed by producer Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and cinematographer/climber Jimmy Chin, “Meru” is a unique blend of riveting personal storytelling and jaw-dropping cinematography recorded by three climbers during their journey to summit Mount Meru in northern India.

In the high-stakes pursuit of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting 21,000 feet above the sacred Ganges River, the mountain’s obstacles make it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers.

In October 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk arrived in India to tackle the Shark’s Fin. Their planned seven-day trip quickly devolved into a 20-day odyssey in sub-zero temperatures with depleting food rations. Within 100 meters of the summit, their journey – like all previous attempts on the route – fell short.

In September 2011, Anker convinced his team to reunite and undertake the Shark’s Fin once more. “Meru” is the story of that journey – an expedition through nature’s harshest elements and one’s complicated inner demons.

Bozeman residents and chairpersons of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, Jennifer Lowe-Anker and her husband Conrad will be in attendance and hold a post-film discussion.

Proceeds from each screening will benefit the ALCF, which is dedicated to preserving late climber Alex Lowe’s legacy by providing direction and financial support to sustainable, community-based humanitarian programs throughout remote regions of the world.

This foundation carries on the legendary Bozeman climber’s spirit of adventure and has supported such programs as the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, The Khumbu Climbing Center, Magic Yeti Childrens’ Libraries, the Widows Relief Fund in Nepal, and the National Park Exchange.

An official film selection in 11 film festivals and a likely submission for the 2016 Academy Awards, Newsweek magazine called “Meru,” “A thoughtful meditation on life, death and everything in between, which is likely part of the reason it snagged this year’s Sundance Documentaries Audience Award.” Outside magazine described the film as “The best climbing movie of the year!”

Screening in high resolution at the Ellen Theatre, tickets for this screening and fundraiser are available by calling the box office at (406) 585-5885, at, or by visiting the Ellen’s box office Wednesday through Saturday between 1-3 p.m.

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